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Find St Margarets Cider Co on mapSt Margarets Cider Co

Experience the horse driven mill, making cider the old way in a restored 17th Century mill

The cider mill at Fair Oak, Bacton,  is  open in May each year as part of the National Mills Weekend.  The owners, Matthew and Hilary Engel, believe it is the only mill in Herefordshire – possibly in the country - now being worked by a horse. 

They restored the seventeenth-century mill and press in 2011, with the help of friends and elderly neighbours who had used similar mills when they were young.  At first they couldn’t find a suitable horse, and had to operate the mill by hand.  It took three people to push the wheel round.

In 20014 they were introduced to Pye – a seven-year-old Gypsy cob stallion belonging to Wendy and John Lloyd of Llanigon.  Wendy had trained Pye as a driving pony, and was keen to see if he would be willing to work the mill.  It was quite a challenge, as the mill house is a very confined space.  But Pye took the job in his stride, and is now an established member of the cider making crew.  At an open weekend usually in late October, visitors are able to watch him making cider.  ‘It’s been so exciting,’ says Hilary.  ‘It’s been the first time the mill has been worked by a horse in more than a hundred years.’

Pye will be returning to Fair Oak for another open weekend on October 29/30th 20016.  Fair Oak Cider is a ‘limited edition’ made in collaboration with St Margarets Cider Co.  It bears a label featuring an image of Pye driving the mill.

Visits to the mill and cider tasting, arranged by appointment


Alan McCardle
Old Farm Cottage
Newton St Margarets
Phone: 01981 510510
Public toilet Pets accepted by arrangement Groups welcome Seasonal opening Packed lunches No smoking Children welcome

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